Happy New Year
This one really snuck up on me. I can hardly believe that it is 2024. Does anyone remember how worried everyone was at the end of 1999 because they were afraid that everything on computers that used a calendar would go crazy at midnight on New Year’s Eve because they had all been programmed for 19__ and it would be 2000? After all of their effort to reprogram everything, every IT person was nevertheless at their computer at midnight, waiting for the possible chaos. Nothing. Happened. Can you believe that was almost a quarter of a century ago? Time flies. Considering the condition of the world today, we have more to worry about than computers. But for today, New Year's Day, let’s put that all aside and focus on our good fortune to be living in Canada and to have such great friends as our fellow heathens in RMA. Conditions at home and abroad can get better if we all work together.
This month, we have an interesting speaker for our January 24th WeCanReason Webinar. Shortly after our WeCanReason Conference in May, Uthman Khan reached out to us and to Janice Selbie to make connections with people who had left a religion. Janice interviewed him on her Divorcing Religion podcast and now he will be speaking to us on the topic, "From Conformity to Liberation: A Journey through Religious Boarding School and its Aftermath." Uthman is working on his Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology with a focus on understanding the experiences of individuals who challenge conservative religion. You can join us at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, January 24 by clicking on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82004333472.
Lois’ Pick: The Genetically Engineered Skeptic. After I had decided on my pick for this month, I opened my computer, and up popped Seth Andrews saying that Al Jazeera English had done a piece on atheist YouTubers, focusing on Drew McCoy, AKA, the Genetically Engineered Skeptic. It was a nicely done piece. Drew McCoy was raised a fundamentalist Christian, young Earth creationist and all. As he approached adulthood, he began to question and it wasn’t long before he ceased believing in God. Fortunately for Drew, he and his wife deconverted at about the same time. Nevertheless, they lost their community. So, Drew took to YouTube to express himself and to find fellow nonbelievers. His channel took off and now Drew is a full-time activist. In some of his videos, he tells his own story. He talks about current events that involve atheism, analyzes YouTube videos by other people, and sometimes analyzes scripture. Check out the Genetically Engineered Skeptic; you might enjoy his work.
Note: Some events might not appear on this list because they are not yet confirmed. Check the Meetup page to find any new events that might be planned during the month.
Thursday, January 4
Life Without Religion - Online
First Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm
Life Without Religion (LWR) is a peer support group where we discuss issues that cause us anxiety and try to find solutions. The holiday season is one of the most trying times of the year. This holiday season, we had a new tool that helped us stay in touch and support each other between meetings. We have a messaging app that only LWR members can access and we can reach out to each other at any time. It has been very helpful. If you have left a fundamentalist religion and are still experiencing stress as a result and you are not a member of LWR but are interested in joining, contact Lois at email@example.com
Monday, January 8
RMA Coffee Chat
Second Monday of every month at 1:00 pm
Is there something that is really bugging you and you seriously want to talk about it to a few friends so you can get some feedback? Coffee Chat is the place to find those friends. The discussion is unstructured and it takes surprising twists and turns. But it is always fun and interesting. BYO coffee, tea, or whatever you prefer to drink, and join us by clicking on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82004263770.
Tuesday, January 9
Skeptics in the Pub
Usually, the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm, but this month, the second Tuesday
Please take note that Skeptics in the Pub will be on the second Tuesday this month because the first Tuesday is a little too close to New Year's weekend and some people might be just returning home or too tired after the celebrating. No matter what the date is, Skeptics in the Pub is always a superb experience. You can expect thought-provoking videos that will lead to intelligent discussions. But best of all, you will enjoy the company of like-minded friends. You can find us in the private Barrell room at the Trolley 5 Brewpub, 728 17th Ave. SW.
RMA Book Club – ONLINE
Second Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm
What is it that makes a book more interesting when you know that several friends are also reading it and that you will have a chance to discuss it? Whatever it is, that is what makes Book Club so enjoyable. Even if you didn’t like the book, it’s fun to discuss why you didn’t like it. The book that the Club is reading this month is Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America, by John McWhorter. McWhorter is a linguist and a professor at Columbia University. In the book, he explains why he sees woke ideology as a new religion and how this leads to bad outcomes. This book should stimulate a very fascinating discussion. Join us by clicking on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83365642462.
Pssst, you can come to the meeting even if you haven’t read the book.
Blood Donor Clinic
Saturdays as announced – 11:00 am
One of the ways that RMA contributes to our local community is by donating blood. About four times a year, the volunteers meet at the Canadian Blood Services clinic in Eau Claire Market. After donating, the group has lunch at the Garage Sports Bar in the market. Donating blook might not be fun but having lunch with friends makes it enjoyable. There are many details to check before going so be sure to read all about it on the Meetup page.
Tuesday, January 16
Life Without Religion - In person
Third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm
Leaving a fundamentalist religion can result in stress, anxiety, and depression. Or just having family or friends who are extremely religious can complicate your life. That’s why we are here, we being the Life Without Religion (LWR) peer support group. At our meetings, we discuss our challenges and stressors and work toward reducing them. You realize that you are not alone when you find people who have had similar experiences and understand you. Recently, we have been discussing cults and it is surprising how similar cults are to religious organizations. The more we learn, the better we can cope with our own stressors. If you are trying to cope with difficulties caused by religion and are not yet a member of LWR but are interested in joining, contact Lois at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This meeting will be online as we continue to search for better ways to meet in person
Sunday, January 21
RMA Monthly Board Meeting
Third Sunday of every month at 1:00 pm
Believe it or not, the Board Meeting is not just for board members. Everyone is welcome to come and learn more about how RMA operates, our needs, and our dreams. We need your input as well. We are always looking for more and better ways to build a compassionate, flourishing society that will provide a community where non-believers can feel comfortable and welcome. However, only board members vote on motions. The board meeting will be at the Calgary Central Library in meeting room 2-05A.
Monday, January 22
Movie Night - Online
Fourth Monday of every month at 7:00 pm
The movie for this month’s Movie Night will be the W5 episode, Sex Abuse Accusations Within the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Most people watching this episode would be shocked at what is revealed, but some of us who have seen the deep insides of religion are not nearly as surprised. W5 is to be commended for doing a deep dive into the realities of the case. Prepare yourselves and join us by clicking on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86424104046.
Fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm
Our webinar speaker this month is Uthman Khan, a Canadian raised in a Muslim community. The topic of his presentation is From Conformity to Liberation: A Journey through Religious Boarding School and its Aftermath. Uthman is a PhD student at the University of Alberta in Sociocultural Anthropology. He has an interest in religious trauma caused by questioning fundamentalist religions. It will be interesting to hear about a different perspective in causes of religious trauma.
Calgary Secular Assembly Events
Wednesday, December 6
Café Social – Conversations over Coffee or Beer
Weed’s Café at 1:00 pm
Sunday, January 14
Who Am I? A Discussion on Identity
Evergreen Spaces at 1:00 pm
Sunday, January 28
Philosophy in 20 – Loneliness, Friendship, and Pets
Online at 11:00 am
For the Zoom link, go to the Meetup page.